Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

How I Lead: Getting Results in a Culture That Makes New Initiatives Difficult

ARCHIVES

Shaun Khalfan is a senior business, policy and technical advisor for cybersecurity at the Navy Chief Information Office.

What is the best leadership lesson you've learned?

The best leadership lesson I’ve learned is to listen. A leader should listen to all ideas and take the time to explain why a new one can or cannot be adopted.

What core characteristics do you value in the workplace?

The late Joseph Snow, who created the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development program and served as a mentor, shared three traits that have resonated with me: cognizance, compassion and character. While we may not reflect those traits to a ‘C,’ they serve as a baseline for building teams and achieving goals.

What do you do after work for fun or to relax?

Nothing beats a long run along the GW Parkway or C&O Canal.

What is the best mistake you've ever made?

I’ve made the typical mistakes, such as being a first-time manager and irking your project team while trying to meet cost, scope and schedule. But I made my ‘best’ mistake very early in my career. I congratulated a pregnant woman who was not pregnant. While a lighthearted and potentially life-threatening example, I learned that we should always remain aware of our environment and understand our audience before speaking and making decisions.

Describe your average day in 10 words or less.

Working operational issues to achieve strategic cybersecurity goals.

What is your latest goal or ambition, and how do you plan to go about achieving it?

I am currently an MBA candidate in the World Executive MBA program at The George Washington University. We are working with a client in preparation for our next international consulting project.

What is a good book you've read recently?

Do school books count? I am late to the game, but recently enjoyed Steve Jobs’ autobiography. There are plenty of great leadership lessons.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your career?

In government, technology is rarely the problem. The problem is a culture that makes new initiatives and improvements difficult to achieve.

Tell me something your co-workers do not know about you.

They don’t know that I used to be a fairly fast runner and have run the Boston Marathon twice.

What is your strategy for interactions with your supervisor?

Trust and communication.

What motivates you?

Doing an excellent job and delivering results in a secure, cost-efficient manner.

Lynnie Martin is the Young Government Leaders (YGL) Public Relations Director and the founder of the YGL GOLD Academy. Her day job is at the Department of Homeland Security where she is working in her dream job as a Training Specialist. She is in charge of several developmental and rotational programs for the 3,000 employees within her directorate. Lynnie moved to Washington, DC from the west coast and enjoys all the opportunities provided by living in our nation’s capital.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.